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These Are Interesting Times

The Daimler deferred prosecution agreement has trickled out (see here).

Attachment D of the DPA concerns the Independent Corporate Monitor and states “in consultation with the Department, Daimler has proposed and the Department has approved Louis J. Freeh to serve as the Monitor.”

Louis J. Freeh (here) is the Former Director of the FBI (1993-2001). He currently is a principal of Freeh Group International (see here). Other principals in the Freeh Group include Stanley Sporkin, an individual who has held various positions during his distinguished career including Director of Enforcement at the SEC, and General Counsel to the CIA.

Freeh represented Saudi Prince Bandar, an individual at the center of the DOJ’s bribery, yet no bribery enforcement action against BAE. (See here for an extended PBS Frontline interview of Freeh).

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Stay tuned for an extensive post “Dissecting Daimler.” The amount of material in this case is now up 228 pages!

These Are Interesting Times

The Daimler deferred prosecution agreement has trickled out (see here).

Attachment D of the DPA concerns the Independent Corporate Monitor and states “in consultation with the Department, Daimler has proposed and the Department has approved Louis J. Freeh to serve as the Monitor.”

Louis J. Freeh (here) is the Former Director of the FBI (1993-2001). He currently is a principal of Freeh Group International (see here). Other principals in the Freeh Group include Stanley Sporkin, an individual who has held various positions during his distinguished career including Director of Enforcement at the SEC, and General Counsel to the CIA.

Freeh represented Saudi Prince Bandar, an individual at the center of the DOJ’s bribery, yet no bribery enforcement action against BAE. (See here for an extended PBS Frontline interview of Freeh).

*****

Stay tuned for an extensive post “Dissecting Daimler.” The amount of material in this case is now up 228 pages!

Daimler – Yet Another Bribery, Yet No Bribery Case

In a criminal information filed yesterday (see here) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the DOJ alleges that:

“[b]etween 1998 and January 2008, DAIMLER made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of milions of dollars to foreign officials in at least 22 countries – including China, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and others – to assist in securing contracts with government customers for the purchase of DAIMLER vehicles valued at hundreds of milions of dollars. In some cases, DAIMLER wired these improper payments to US. bank accounts or to the foreign bank accounts ofU. S. shell companies in order to transmit the bribe. In at least one instance, a US. shell company was incorporated for the specific purpose of entering into a sham consulting agreement with DAIMLER in order to conceal improper payments routed through the shell company to foreign governent offcials. Certain improper payments even continued as late as January 2008. In all cases, DAIMLER improperly recorded these payments in its corporate books and records.”

However, in what is becoming a distubring and troubling new norm (i.e. Siemens, BAE) Daimler was NOT charged with FCPA antibribery violations.

Stay tuned for additional analysis of the 78 page criminal information.

In the News

Despite Statoil and Siemens (among other enforcement actions), many continue to describe the FCPA as the law that applies only to U.S. companies. Of course that is a wrong statement, as the FCPA applies to all issuers (foreign or domestic) and any foreign company or national that engages in acts in furtherance of a bribery scheme while in U.S. territory. In any event, it is sometimes hard to change perceptions.

Next time you hear this misperception, think February 12, 2010.

On February 12, 2010, it was reported that Daimler AG (a German carmaker) and Technip (a French oil and gas company) were close to resolving FCPA related enforcement actions.

Daimler

As reported here, Daimler is poised to “pay about $200 million and two subsidiaries will plead guilty to resolve a U.S. investigation into whether it paid bribes to secure business overseas.” According to the company’s prior filings, an internal investigation found that “improper payments were made in a number of jurisdictions, primarily in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.” In addition, the report notes that Daimler has also faced scrutiny in connection with its role in the U.N. Oil-For-Food program in Iraq. The report quotes a Daimler spokesperson as saying, “we are in discussions with the DOJ and SEC regarding consensually resolving the agencies’ investigations.”

The report also notes that “government lawyers submitted the deal in Washington to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon.” Judge Leon is also overseeing the Africa Sting case. If true, the normally transparent DOJ (at least when it comes to alerting the public to FCPA enforcement actions) has yet to publicly announce any Daimler filing on its website. Nor does the DOJ website contain any information about the recent BAE matter. Perhaps it is because of the recent weather in D.C. which resulted in DOJ offices being closed for several days.

Technip

According to the company’s release (here), “Technip and the SEC and DOJ have discussed a resolution of all potential claims against the company” arising from an investigation involving TSKJ, a joint venture company in which Technip has a 25% share. The company disclosed that it will record a €245 million charge to reflect the “estimated costs” of the resolution. According to the release, “the potential resolution does not contemplate a criminal conviction for Technips’s role in the TSKJ joint venture.”

The TSKJ joint venture in Nigeria has been the focus of several previous FCPA enforcement actions. See here, here, and here.

In the News

Despite Statoil and Siemens (among other enforcement actions), many continue to describe the FCPA as the law that applies only to U.S. companies. Of course that is a wrong statement, as the FCPA applies to all issuers (foreign or domestic) and any foreign company or national that engages in acts in furtherance of a bribery scheme while in U.S. territory. In any event, it is sometimes hard to change perceptions.

Next time you hear this misperception, think February 12, 2010.

On February 12, 2010, it was reported that Daimler AG (a German carmaker) and Technip (a French oil and gas company) were close to resolving FCPA related enforcement actions.

Daimler

As reported here, Daimler is poised to “pay about $200 million and two subsidiaries will plead guilty to resolve a U.S. investigation into whether it paid bribes to secure business overseas.” According to the company’s prior filings, an internal investigation found that “improper payments were made in a number of jurisdictions, primarily in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.” In addition, the report notes that Daimler has also faced scrutiny in connection with its role in the U.N. Oil-For-Food program in Iraq. The report quotes a Daimler spokesperson as saying, “we are in discussions with the DOJ and SEC regarding consensually resolving the agencies’ investigations.”

The report also notes that “government lawyers submitted the deal in Washington to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon.” Judge Leon is also overseeing the Africa Sting case. If true, the normally transparent DOJ (at least when it comes to alerting the public to FCPA enforcement actions) has yet to publicly announce any Daimler filing on its website. Nor does the DOJ website contain any information about the recent BAE matter. Perhaps it is because of the recent weather in D.C. which resulted in DOJ offices being closed for several days.

Technip

According to the company’s release (here), “Technip and the SEC and DOJ have discussed a resolution of all potential claims against the company” arising from an investigation involving TSKJ, a joint venture company in which Technip has a 25% share. The company disclosed that it will record a €245 million charge to reflect the “estimated costs” of the resolution. According to the release, “the potential resolution does not contemplate a criminal conviction for Technips’s role in the TSKJ joint venture.”

The TSKJ joint venture in Nigeria has been the focus of several previous FCPA enforcement actions. See here, here, and here.

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